Sep 27, 2021 4:54:55 PM | 5 Min Read

MercyOne Cardiovascular Service Line Earns Joint Commission Certification for VAD

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Teresa Sieck
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MercyOne Cardiovascular Service Line Earns Joint Commission Certification for VAD

I couldn’t be more proud to share this news: The Joint Commission has granted certification to our client MercyOnes cardiovascular service line for ventricular assist devices (VAD). MercyOne is a health system in central Iowa offering specialized care to heart failure (HF) patients.

The Joint Commission is our country’s oldest and largest healthcare standards-setting and accrediting body. This independent, not-for-profit institution evaluates disease-specific service lines and programs on a voluntary basis for quality improvement and patient safety based on leading practices and rigorous standards.

For MercyOne, this certification definitively sets it apart from other hospitals in the state of Iowa–and elsewhere. A stamp of approval by this prestigious body for its cardiovascular service line not only strengthens community confidence in the hospital’s quality of patient care and safety, but it imparts a competitive edge. Joint Commission certification contributes to a positive bottom line through risk reduction, enhanced staff recruitment, and an alignment with one of the most respected names in healthcare.

This certification comes on top of MercyOne’s designation in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospitals” issue as a top health system in the country for high-quality heart care.

WebCareHealth is pleased to offer remote patient monitoring services as part of MercyOne Iowa Heart’s advanced heart failure and VAD programs. Remote monitoring offers visibility to real-time actionable data and allows for tracking trends and improving clinical outcomes.

Pandemic Reveals a Silver Lining in Care for Cardiovascular Service Lines

The timing for MercyOne’s successful use of remote patient monitoring for advanced heart failure and VAD couldn’t be better. As an April 2021 Heart/BMJ Journals study notes: “Remote patient monitoring offers advances that have new urgency thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and emerging variants.”

"WebCareHealth has reduced hospital readmissions for heart failure by greater than 90% for patients enrolled in the program."

Patients are again wary of going into hospitals for care visits. That means cardiovascular service lines will need to proactively stay in touch with patients, whether that’s through televisits or remote patient monitoring (or both). According to the Heart study, remote patient monitoring is an important adjunct to virtual visits.

Heart also cites a couple of smaller studies that indicate that, while patients were hesitant to present for treatment at hospitals during 2020, evidence shows an increase in clinician-patient encounters thanks to remote management and fewer heart failure admissions during the first wave of the pandemic.

Cardiovascular service lines now have proof that remote monitoring is a best practice

This evidence bodes well for managing heart failure and VAD patients, who are the most sensitive and precarious cases for hospital cardiovascular service lines.

WebCareHealth’s remote patient monitoring platforms track VAD device measurements and patient well-being while patients are at home. Measurements collected include daily weight, LVAD pump speed, LVAD pump flow, LVAD pulse index, LVAD power, and LVAD mean arterial pressure. They also collect physiologic data and patients’ activities, diet, and other lifestyle factors.

As the population of patients with advanced HF increases, nurses in all healthcare settings will need to become familiar with the care of heart failure and VAD patients. That includes assessing and managing devices, identifying potential complications, and offering patient and caregiver education and support.

With the emergence of new coronavirus variants, advanced heart failure and VAD patients will require more frequent telehealth and remote monitoring services because COVID-19 symptoms can look like typical heart failure-related symptoms. COVID-19 also alter a patient’s coagulation status which can cause thrombosis and hemorrhage.

WebCareHealth not only provides the connectivity between the patient and the provider allowing for monitoring of physiologic data, but also has artificial intelligence built in that recognizes opportunities to improve care. This brings great value for both the clinical and financial aspects of the business. Identifying needs before a patient decompensates slows progression of the disease and reduces hospital readmissions. WebCareHealth has reduced hospital readmissions for heart failure by greater than 90% for those patients enrolled in the program.

After all, the goal for cardiovascular service lines’ advanced heart failure and VAD patients is the same as ours: to detect potential trouble sooner and maintain patients’ quality of life while reducing costs as the volume of patients continually increases.